“A lot of support, but never enough” Newcastle food bank sends plea amid food poverty crisis

Nourish Food Store in North Shields have seen a rise in those needing support after the cost of living increase.

Given the cost of living increase across the UK, food poverty is also now on the rise. A study by consumer group Which in collaboration with Leeds University found that the North East has been impacted the most by the cost of food crisis.

This is why many families across the North East are now turning to food banks and other food services for help, as they are in a higher need for family food support than any other area in the UK.

North Tyneside charity, The Cedarwood Trust has a Nourish Food Store which has been open to the public for just over a year, and has seen a rise in people struggling with food poverty and needing support since the cost of living increased. Nourish Food Store provides those in need with a weekly food shop for a nominal fee. All of the food products available in the store have been donated.

Lindsey Newton, who works for The Cedarwood Trust also uses the Nourish store herself on a weekly basis. “Using the store weekly means that I can then treat my children to an ice cream or trip to the swimming pool,” she said. Lindsey further explained that everyone is struggling with the cost of living increase, and she wants to protect her children from seeing that.

Lindsey also spoke about the stigma attached to using food banks. She said: “It’s been a stigma that if you use the food banks or a scheme like this you’re really poor and borderline homeless.” However that is not the case, as Lindsey is a full-time worker, and still needs the support.

Nourish Food Store worker Linda Naisbitt further explained that regardless of employment circumstances, most in the North East have more going out in regard to bills than they have coming in from their income. “You have to cut something to achieve something else. That’s where the struggle is,” she said.

Lindsey Newton and Linda Naisbitt from Nourish Food Store in North Shields
Lindsey Newton and Linda Naisbitt from Nourish Food Store in North Shields
Lindsey Newton and Linda Naisbitt from Nourish Food Store in North Shields

The Nourish Food Store relies heavily on donations to keep afloat and keep providing for those in need. North East organisation Tin On A Wall who collect food donations send a lot of their collections to Nourish Food Store, while small business Barry’s Eggs and Veg who are based in North Shields donate fruit and vegetables.

Local shops with donation crates at the exit of the store, also send food items to Nourish Food Store. “We’re all in the same boat, so everybody is looking out for each other,” said Lindsey. However, with the increase in food poverty on the rise, more support is needed. “There’s a lot of support, but there is never enough,” said Linda.